Pushing the limits

Excerpt from Unrepresented Peoples and Nations Organization website: "...Infant mortality among Congolese Mbendjele Pygmies was around one and a half times higher than among their Bantu neighbours. Tellingly, infant mortality rates for Ugandan Batwa dropped from 59 percent to 18 percent when families were given land. The Batwa of Chombo have been reduced to squatting since being evicted from their ancestral forests..to make way for the national park.."We are refugees in our own country," said Mwendanabo, "and we will stay like that until we are given some land." Without their own land to work, diets are poor. Children are acutely malnourished and there is nothing to spend on livestock, healthcare or education. ..Sitting in the darkness of Chombo's one classroom Salome Ndavuma knows what she wants her surviving children to do. "We die like animals because we don't have the money to go to the hospital. If some of our own can train to be doctors then perhaps we will get treatment. So that's what I'd ask of Kabila if he came to Chombo - train my child to be a doctor."

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